The Knesset in a preliminary vote Wednesday rejected the so-called “two-state
solution bill,” which would prohibit the government from unilaterally annexing
The bill, proposed by MK Hilik Bar (Labor), would have allowed land in the West Bank or Gaza to be annexed only as part of a peace treaty leading to
“You are reaching a moment of truth, in which you have to
look in the mirror of history and realize that we need to separate from the
Palestinians,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said to the coalition. “If
you don’t take this opportunity now, history will judge you, because we will
become an isolated, binational state.”
Herzog called for coalition MKs to
“overcome narrow political interests and don’t make promises you know you can’t
keep. If you don’t face the historic challenge, we will replace you and do it
ourselves,” he added.
Despite Herzog’s warnings, the bill was voted down
with 44 opposed, including MKs from Hatnua and Yesh Atid, and 25 in
Bar focused on criticizing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who
gave a hawkish speech on Tuesday.
“Brother, stop fantasizing,” Bar said.
“The bizarre things you said endanger the future of our children. You act like
you own Zionism and nationalism...but you are destroying Zionism.”
Minister for Liaison with the Knesset Ofir Akunis responded to Bar’s proposal,
saying that the government is in the middle of negotiations and will bring
whatever agreement it reaches to the Knesset for approval.
Akunis added, the legislature cannot decide the guidelines for talks with the
“Why do you have such passion to give away parts of our homeland?”
Akunis asked Bar.